Appreciation of Fan-Made X4 Cinema (TV Series?)
Creative Appreciation Week. That’s the theme this week, as I discovered while scrambling for something to post last night after my game-time-destroying-nap. *shakes fist* I’m at my mother’s tonight, and at a work event tomorrow night — but for today at least, I know what I’m doing! Yuss.
As part of my growing interest in jumping into X4, I’ve been watching some videos. Largely tutorial in nature to start with, but as the YouTube algorithm picked up on my new momentary passion, it started suggesting other videos on the game itself, ultimately landing on a genre I’ve not really seen a lot of in years although I’m sure people out there are still making it.
The genre? Mechanima. Although the content author calls it a ‘Cinematic Playthrough’ instead, and perhaps that’s a bit more to the point. They largely capture Vanilla X4: Foundation gameplay using the various camera modes on offer in the game, the strategic command map but also mixes in non-game elements. Sometimes for jokes, sometimes to offer a view of the Marine boarding action inside an enemy ship (not a view you normally get beyond the marine pods latching on to the hull). I guess the other thing making it not ‘really’ Mechanima is that it isn’t entirely acted (although some parts are).
The first episode is… Perhaps not the strongest. YouTube actually had me jump in at episode 2, and it wasn’t until later I went back and filled in the gap. In fact, I think YouTube had the right idea and I’ll start you at Episode 2 as well; although I’ll link to the playlist, making it easier to jump backwards should you so wish to.
These videos come from one ‘Guild of Noobs: Lord Dobersift‘ who has, at the time of writing, a bit over 2.1k subscribers. Many recent videos hold views in the low 100’s, although some of this X series I’m going to link you to have made it comfortably over the 10k mark.
I’m somewhat interested in whether such a series is even remotely interesting to someone not already interested in the game. I’ve certainly found it rather enthralling, and almost made it through the full 16 currently published episodes. None of them are overly long, so I’m finding them the perfect bite size piece of content to have on beside me.
I’ve been loving the demonstration of fleet-scale combat, as I (generally) captained an individual ship with perhaps a bit of an NPC wing, either set to protect me or acting as a supplemental police force within a system I had a particular interest in. If nothing else, this series certainly acts as a decent showcase for the scale of the game!
I kinda hope I make it to this point when I finally get to jump in myself. :)